Another green smoothie and my favourite Japanese illustrator

Good morning! How is it Wednesday already? Time really does fly (on a jet plane) but today, I ain’t complaining because in exactly 23 days, my sister and brother-in-law are coming to visit me in JAPAN (not that I’m counting or anything). I’ll be honest, I’m rather homesick.. I miss Christchurch. I miss the atmosphere of the Riccarton Bush Farmers’ market, I miss C1s vegetarian sliders, I miss Cafe Valentino and my CV family and I even miss my stupid dog’s (sorry, my SISTER’s stupid dog’s) non-stop barking. Oh and my friends and my mama and my papa as well.

I have two things for you on this gloriously cold Winter day:

First, another green-smoothie recipe:
1 banana
1 kiwi
handful of kale
handful of spinach
3/4 cup of water

Notice the fruit sticker.

Next, my favourite Japanese illustrator:
Mitsuie Yusaku

Someone once said, good art is that which reflects a little or a lottle of yourself. Well, actually I just said that but I’m sure someone once said the equivalent. I first came across Mitsuie’s work in an adorable stationary shop at Osaka station and his illustration (below) of a lady with a top bun writing on a large desk with an open drawer and a hot cup of tea by her side instantly reminded me of myself. In other words, I could relate. That’s the whole point of art isn’t it?

Below are a few of my favourites but if you’d like to see more of Mitsuie’s work and consequently, a piece of yourself in his illustrations, visit Mitsuie’s website by clicking his name.

hphp-3hp-5hphp-4hp (1)hpb

Avocado and Spinach Smoothie Bowl

It’s now fall in Japan. Fall. A new addition to my English vocabulary after being forced to teach American-English here. Any who, fall has kindly turned up the cozy dial on full blast and I just can’t handle it (in a good way). It is my most favourite season. I want to be under a blanket with a smoothie bowl and a good book by my side, forever. Hibernation. How very appropriate in my neck of the woods (another bear was spotted in the village yesterday) and it wasn’t Emma (pictured below).
image[3]1/4 avocado
1 banana
bunch of fresh spinach
3/4 cup of non-dairy milk (I used 100% soy)

Review no33 Juicy Mercy in Phnom Penh

I’m a big believer (also a belieber) in engaging with the “true” culture and cuisine of a country when travelling abroad. So, whilst in Phnom Penh, I ate a whole lot of weird shizz which of course, turned out to be surprisingly tasty and also, a refreshing break for my tired-of-sushi-palate. Now, I won’t lie; most of the local food looked pretty rustic (and often unsafe/unhygienic) but nevertheless; tasted delicious and didn’t give me a Dehli Belly as I’d expected. After having sampled a variety of local foods though, I was itching (figuratively – not a literal food-related reaction) for a clean and modern eatery – call me materialistic. And what better than a healthy juicery; my favorite! Here’s where Juicy Mercy comes in.

Okay, so the prices may be a bit darer than a regular juice from the many street vendors BUT the extra dollar (or two) is definitely worth it and so is, in particular; the overall experience. I ordered a berry flavored smoothie from a large selection and while I waited, basked in the contemporary ambiance. From the feature wall, neon lights flatteringly complimented me on my appearance: “You’re looking gorgeous today” (thanks!) and the AC cooled my sweaty forehead. Definitely worth a visit when in Phnom Penh and needing a break from the Cambodian heat and excitement.
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#22, St.282, Sangkat Boeung Keng Kang I, Khan Chamkamon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (opposite the TK avenue Pizza Company – don’t be tempted!).

The brightest smoothie I ever made

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Ever since seeing my cousin (who lives in Thailand) make a hot pink dragon fruit smoothie, I have been itching to do the same! Unfortunately, I could only find white dragon fruits in NZ. Last week, I stumbled upon the funkiest fruit store in Kobe Chinatown. They had mangoes the size of rugby balls, pomegranates, green coconuts, akebi and PINK DRAGON FRUIT. Yesterday, I combined one dragon fruit with banana and a little apple juice (just three ingredients) to create this. No photograph will ever do its vibrant color justice! I can’t believe it’s natural. WOW. Who needs artificial colors and preservatives? There is so much joy in eating well.

Flesh of one pink dragon fruit
2 small frozen bananas
tiny splash of 100% apple juice

my smoothie brings all the boars to the yard

Seriously, I’m not even kidding. I drove past a very scary-sized wild boar the other night. That, is how rural I’m living! The boar looked at me and then.. ran off. But, it was still a pretty terrifying experience and now, I’m a little nervous riding around in the early hours of the morn when it’s still a little dark. Especially after my colleagues told me some boars like to charge at cars – apparently speaking of experience. The world is a scary scary place. So although the following may paint a picture of the perfect morning, in truth, I was pretty anxious inside. In saying that, my smoothie was so delicious that I found myself eating it super slowly just to make it last longer.
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Smoothie is: 1 frozen banana, 2 heaped tbsp coconut yogurt (regular yogurt works too), splash of 100% guava juice (but any fruit juice will do) and 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries.

Topping is: walnuts, almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds fried in a little coconut oil and pure maple syrup.

the countdown is on!

So, it’s ten days to my 23rd birthday (I can’t believe how young I am, I feel like I’ve lived an eternity) and as a gift to myself on the day, I’ve decided to concentrate on eating super good until then. First up, breakfast.

Day 1: a simple acai bowl
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1/2 frozen banana
3/4 cup of water
2 tsp acai powder
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Day 2: light green-smoothie 
1 frozen banana
a big handful of washed lettuce
a chunk of fresh pineapple
1/2 cup of water
(To be honest, lettuce in smoothie form tastes kinda gross – spinach is much better. Ah well, lesson learnt.)
Day 3: carrot bowl
2 small frozen bananas
1 cup of 100% carrot juice
imageDay 4: pumpkin pie
1/2 frozen banana
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin
a little honey and cinnamon
image (3)Day 5: chocolate for breakfast
2 small frozen bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp honey
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The Health Benefits Of Coconut Water And Yet ANOTHER Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Coconut water is the latest fad. Found everywhere from gas stations to speciality health-food stores, coconut water is taking over our world – one coconut (or carton box or plastic bottle) at.a.time. Why? Coconut water contains five vital electrolytes essential to the human body. These include: calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and sodium. Because of this unique composition, coconut water can be enjoyed by individuals with varying medical conditions. In addition, the rich nature of coconut water helps you feel fuller for longer minus the added guilt as the fat content in coconut water is extremely low. Coconut water can also work wonders on our skin from the inside out – its natural properties not only hydrate dry skin but also help add that naturally beautiful glow we all crave (no pregnancy required) – no wonder so many health products (shampoos, conditioners and creams) contain coconut extract. Moreover, the high concentration of fibre in coconut water helps reduce bloating at the same time as aiding good digestion – double win! Lastly, coconut water is popular for its vampiric qualities. Seriously, i’m not joking. Since it is isotonic to human plasma, coconut water can be used in extreme emergencies to rapidly rehydrate the human body if administered intravenously. It is not uncommon for the drink to be used in poorer, third-world countries to save human lives – need I say more?

1 cup unsweetened natural coconut water
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blackcurrants
1/4 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt (dairy free if vegan etc)
1 tbsp rolled oats (omit if gluten intolerant)
1 tsp honey (or maple syrup if vegan)

Place all ingredients in a food processor, whizz away until nice and smooth then finish with a combination of your favourite toppings. Happy lazy Sunday y’all!


It Takes Two To Mango

But really it only took one mango to create two delicious vegan mango lassi smoothie bowls for mum and I. Sorry. Am I confusing you? It’s just that my brain is buzzing as I’m writing this post with unbelievable enthusiasm as this baby right here is by far, the most delicious fruit concoction I’ve ever created! (Even mum agrees and she’s a tough cookie)!

Flesh of one ripe mango
2 frozen bananas
1 cup of unsweetened light coconut milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp oats

Chuck all ingredients in a food processor and whizz away until smooth and creamy.

I topped ours with a sprinkle of coconut sugar, homemade granola and fresh blueberries.

PS you’ve got my permission to lick your bowl clean if you wanna – who am I kidding, of course you’re gonna wanna!

Addicted, is an understatement!

Happy Sunday everybody – may your bellies be full, hugs big, laughs loud, pants roomy and naps long! X

For this foodporn (or shall I say fruitporn) simply whizz together:
1/4 fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup fresh or frozen blackcurrants
1 frozen banana 
3/4 cup of milk (I used almond)
2 tsp ground LSC or LSA (for that extra goodness)

PS decorating smoothie bowls is a bitch. Seriously. Most often the toppings sink and so a lot of time and patience is required – no wonder all these Instagram foodies are 15. #hatersgonnahate #sorrynotsorry

GAGA Over Food

Where did summer go? This morning, I’m pretending I’m somewhere tropical with this incredibly delicious blackcurrant and banana smoothie bowl. The tartness of the blackcurrants paired with the sweetness of the bananas is undoubtedly a happy union. In fact, after giving my mother a mere teaspoonful to try, she requested I make her an entire bowl, too!

2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup ViBeri organic frozen blackcurrants 
3/4 cup almond milk 
2 tsp LSA powder (linseed, sunflower and almond)
toppings of choice (I used fresh strawberries and homemade granola)